Four long-term care home residents in Oshawa, Ont. have tested positive for COVID-19
TORONTO -- Four residents of an Oshawa long-term care home have tested positive for COVID-19, public health officials in Durham Region confirm.
The four new patients, officials say, reside at Hillsdale Terraces, located near Ritson Road North and Rossland Road East, and tested positive for the virus on March 18.
The infected patients include two women, ages 92 and 80, and two men, ages 71 and 68. All are contained within two wards of the home, officials say.
The four remain at the long-term care facility in isolation.
A respiratory outbreak was declared at the home on Monday, which limited visitors to the home. Other outbreak control measures, including the appropriate use of personal protective equipment, increase environmental sanitation, cleaning and disinfection, and proper hand hygiene with all staff, were also put in place.
In a statement issued earlier this week, Durham's medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Kyle, urged residents to continue to practice "social distancing."
"The health and wellness of our community continues to be our top priority, and this is a critical time to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Durham Region," Kyle said.
"I recognize that these are unprecedented measures for unprecedented times. We can slow community spread of this virus. I urge everyone to practise social distancing—stay at least two metres away from others and stay home as much as possible. If you have travelled outside of the country, follow the recommendations for self-isolation."
A fifth person is in isolation at the home, Kyle said
The wife of one of the residents at the facility said she received an automated voice message from the nursing home informing her of the positive tests.
"The voicemail said, 'as of today March 19, there were two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hillsdale Terraces,'" Elizabeth Murphy said, adding that she was surprised to learn that there are actually four cases.
She said her husband is doing okay.
Murphy said she wants to know how the virus got in the home and if the two additional cases are from the same unit.
"I was there on Saturday as were other people sitting in the main area having coffee, should I be concerned?," she said.
Murphy said she was informed that they would only test those who might have been in contact with the cases.
"But that, to me, is not good enough," she said. "We need to be proactive."
The Ministry of Health said in a statement Thursday night that the public health unit is instructing the home on additional isolation and is investigating all potential exposures in the home.
"Families needing more information or who have questions should contact their local public health unit. The government is taking all the necessary precautions to ensure loved ones in Ontario's long-term care homes are safe and secure, and is actively working with our partners at all levels in the health care system to implement enhanced measures and update protocols and procedures as necessary," the ministry said.
Ontario reported 44 new cases of the virus on Thursday, but it is not clear if the Hillsdale Terraces cases are included in that number.
To date, the province has confirmed 258 cases of the respiratory illness in Ontario, including five recoveries, and two deaths.